* Murdoch attended strategy meetings for months - source
* News comes after UK clears BSkyB of links to hacking
By Ronald Grover and Liana B. Baker
Sept 20 James Murdoch will be given more
responsibility over News Corp's U.S. television
operations more than a year after he became a central figure in
the company's telephone hacking scandal in the UK, two sources
familiar with the matter said.
News of the promotion comes on the heels of a ruling earlier
on Thursday by a UK regulator that appears to have cleared
pay-TV company BSkyB of any connection to the scandal that
tainted News Corp last year.
The 39-year-old son of News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch
will be given a larger, more operational role in the Fox
Networks Group, which oversees Fox's broadcast network and its
cable channels that include FX, National Geographic and Fox
sports channels, according to two people with knowledge of the
The Fox News channel will continue to report to Roger Ailes,
who also oversees the Fox Business channel and Fox's local TV
The sources did not know what Murdoch's exact title would be
because the details were still being hashed out. It is expected
that Peter Rice, who was promoted in July to chairman and chief
executive of Fox Networks Group, will remain in his role. The
Financial Times, which was the first outlet to report the news,
said Rice would report to Murdoch.
Murdoch, currently Deputy Chief Operating Officer at News
Corp, had been attending strategy meetings for the cable
networks in Los Angeles for months, said one person with
knowledge of the meetings, although he continued to live in New
A Fox spokeswoman declined to comment.
The younger Murdoch's promotion was delayed for months while
UK regulator Office of Communications, known as Ofcom,
investigated whether News Corp was an appropriate owner of BSkyB
and whether Murdoch was an appropriate director. It ruled on
Sept. 20 that News Corp's 39 percent owned British Sky
Broadcasting satellite operation was "fit and proper" to
continue to hold a broadcast license. (For more on the Ofcom
Murdoch was in charge of News Corp's British newspaper arm
when the hacking scandal exploded last year at the News of the
World tabloid. He was also a former chief executive and chairman
But the report also criticized James for not properly
investigating hacking allegations at the newspaper group.
"In our view, James Murdoch's conduct in relation to events
at News Group Newspapers repeatedly fell short of the exercise
of responsibility to be expected of him as CEO and chairman,"
the report said.
Rupert Murdoch relented to pressure from investors to split
up the company's newspapers and publishing from the
entertainment arm to boost valuation of the entertainment
assets, which were being discounted because of their association
with the struggling newspaper business. The split is expected to
be completed in 2013.
There has been much speculation in recent months about how
News Corp would cram all of its executive talent into the new
entertainment company following the split.
News Corp shares closed 14 cents higher, up 0.5 percent, at
$25.02 on Thursday.